PDA

View Full Version : The Art of Pimping Reaches New Heights



Magda Hassan
07-07-2009, 06:10 AM
HA! The best media and congress money can buy. No surprises here just surprise to see it printed. A fully automated coin operated process.




Monday, July 6, 2009

Corporate Media: How Corporate is Corporate? (http://123realchange.blogspot.com/2009/07/corporate-media-how-corporate-is.html)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_bchlSQ-9LdI/SlIMjqMEjTI/AAAAAAAAABs/Kr3e-rtVrSE/s320/Jamiol+Cartoon-July6.gif (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_bchlSQ-9LdI/SlIMjqMEjTI/AAAAAAAAABs/Kr3e-rtVrSE/s1600-h/Jamiol+Cartoon-July6.gif)

The Art of Pimping Reaches New Heights

I’ve been planning to write a piece on the role of ‘Corporate’ in the US Mainstream Media for Part IV of our ‘Dissecting MSM Series.’ Then, right before the Fourth of July holiday, this stinking scandal came out via Politico (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24441.html#ixzz0K7O5XxHU&D):





“Publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive "salon" at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to "those powerful few"”

By ‘those powerful few’ they mean, and they actually list: Obama administration officials and members of Congress, and also include Post’s own hotshot reporters and editors.

So, how did Politico get a whiff of this sensational leak?




“The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a healthcare lobbyist [Emphasis Added], who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff."”

Yep, it’s that bad. They’ve gotten so shameless and awful that even lobbyists are blowing their whistles! We all knew how bad things were with our mass media, but you must admit this exceeds even our expectations.



“With the Post newsroom in an uproar after POLITICO reported the solicitation, Weymouth said in an email to the staff that "a flier went out that was prepared by the Marketing department and was never vetted by me or by the newsroom. Had it been, the flier would have been immediately killed, because it completely misrepresented what we were trying to do." “

How is this for a pathetic twisting? Come on, you’d think with all their ‘fiction’ reporters and editors and their ‘highly imaginative’ writers, they’d come up with a better excuse than this pathetically lame line!




“Executive editor Marcus Brauchli was as adamant as Weymouth in denouncing the plan promoted in the flier. “You cannot buy access to a Washington Post journalist,” Brauchli told POLITICO. Brauchli was named on the flier as one of the salon’s "Hosts and Discussion Leaders."”

And here, this Brauchli guy gets even better:




“Brauchli said in an interview that he understood the business side of the Post planned on holding dinners… Brauchli said that Post employees on the business side — not the newsroom — would have been responsible for seeking participants for this event.”

‘Business’ Side’??!! As if there is any other side to this long-tainted industry? As far as we know, and we’ve known all along, when it comes to our popular press there is the ‘Big Business Side’ and in our government the entrenched ‘Pro-Establishment Side’; and since both happen to be on the same side, that makes it only one side.

I love the flowery adjectives used in the following two paragraphs:




“"Underwriting Opportunity: An evening with the right people can alter the debate," says the one-page flier.”Underwrite and participate in this intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. ... Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table. Interact with key Obama administration and congressional leaders."”




“The flier promised the dinner would be held in an intimate setting with no unseemly conflict between participants. “Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No,” it said. “The relaxed setting in the home of Katharine Weymouth assures it. What is guaranteed is a collegial evening, with Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds typically on the guest list of 20 or less. …”

“Intimate & Exclusive” in ‘a relaxing setting’ of a ‘home.’ How relaxing? It doesn’t say. But since it is guaranteed to be ‘intimate, relaxing, and homey,’ I envision dimly glowing red lanterns and soft springy lounge sofas decorating this ‘reserved saloon’ at Weymouth’s nest. Seriously, it reads like an ad for one of those high-priced hookers connection events held for ‘discreet’ public figures. Don’t you agree?

‘Interact with Obama Administration & Congressional Leaders’: Well, based on the flier, the high-priced hookers who will be provided ‘intimately & exclusively’ for an annual fee of $250,000 happen to be all the president’s men & our elected officials. Please don’t take me wrong. I don’t intend this to be insulting. Not at all. After all, business is business, and prostitution happens to be the oldest of all. Now I know our government considers this old established line of business, at a lower level, street-vendor style, illegal; against our laws that is, but that’s another story for another day. For this piece, I intend to focus on the business side of this story: The Corporate Media and their intimate, exclusive, and obviously lucrative pimping for Big Business (those that ‘really’ count’), offering up Statesmen members of our legal and prestigious Red Light District.

Back to dissecting the rest of this highly enlightening expose:




“The first "Salon" was to be called "Health-Care Reform: Better or Worse for Americans? The reform and funding debate." More were anticipated, and the flier described the opportunities for participants:

“Offered at $25,000 per sponsor, per Salon. Maximum of two sponsors per Salon. Underwriters’ CEO or Executive Director participates in the discussion. Underwriters appreciatively acknowledged in printed invitations and at the dinner. Annual series sponsorship of 11 Salons offered at $250,000 … Hosts and Discussion Leaders ... Health-care reporting and editorial staff members of The Washington Post ... An exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done. ... A Washington Post Salon ... July 21, 2009 6:30 p.m. ...”

So, since lately healthcare reform debate has been a hot issue, and since timing is everything when it comes to ‘business,’ our entrepreneurial Washington Post justifiably picks it for it’s first ‘intimate saloon’ offering.

They sent invitations to Big Business CEOs and Executive Directors; the movers, shakers, and ultimate decision makers in those issues ‘cosmetically debated’ in our congress and ‘cunningly promised’ by our presidents; you know, our ‘real Mastahs.’ Oh, before I forget, I just caught the following typo or mis-wording in the invitation’s header: ‘"Health-Care Reform: Better or Worse for Americans?”’ What they meant was better or worse ‘for your businesses.’

As Weymouth has already admitted, the flier, the invitation, was prepared by the ‘marketing’ division of The Washington Post, so I’m sure the price of $25,000 per ‘saloon’, and of course the enticing discount of $250,000 for advance purchasing, was determined wisely, professionally, and based on well-researched and surveyed analyses. Meaning: the current going rate for our representatives and president’s men offered and guaranteed on an intimate and exclusive basis in a private relaxing homey saloon is a quarter million dollars per year.

I can’t help but envisioning Madame Nancy half sitting half laying on a fluffy chaise lounge, her face half obscured by the shadows in the dim light cast from the red lanterns above, softening her famous crusty deep wrinkles. She is making circles on the rim of her exquisite crystal champagne glass, another sophisticated touch offered by Weymouth at her intimate saloon sessions. Next to her, a balding CEO dressed in a Ferré tailored yet softly crafted suit is kneeling just enough to reach her right ear, whispering intimately and exclusively, while three junior congresswomen a few steps away watch intently, as part of their training. Seated a few sofas away are Walter Pincus, a big Chunky BlackWater Man, and Senator Johnnie the Arms’ Committee Man. Neither of the men is drinking the ‘fu fu’ bubbly, instead they hold their crystal glasses filled with a Real Man’s Johnny Walker; straight up. They don’t whisper either; after all, they are not girlie men. Their topic of the night: ‘How to dodge accountability yet look great in the papers.’ There’s no disagreement, of course. All three know: It’s been done before and will be done again, and then again.

The three-way partnership is one of those rare perfect ones: Win, Win, and Win. The big corporate clients secure all they need, the members of Washington Red Light District guarantee another term or two, and the Pimping Press remains as the connecting bridge, sustaining its own survival while insuring that of the other two. As for us, the majority, the people? We’ve never mattered before and we don’t matter now.
http://123realchange.blogspot.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.politico.com/singletitlevideo.html?bcpid=1155201977&bctid=28325312001


Washington Post (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20479.html) publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive "salon" at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to "those powerful few" — Obama (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22371.html) administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24420.html) lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff."

With the Post newsroom in an uproar after POLITICO reported the solicitation, Weymouth said in an email to the staff that "a flier went out that was prepared by the Marketing department and was never vetted by me or by the newsroom. Had it been, the flier would have been immediately killed, because it completely misrepresented what we were trying to do."

Weymouth (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24419.html) said the paper had planned a series of dinners with participation from the newsroom “but with parameters such that we did not in any way compromise our integrity. Sponsorship of events, like advertising in the newspaper, must be at arm's length and cannot imply control over the content or access to our journalists. At this juncture, we will not be holding the planned July dinner and we will not hold salon dinners involving the newsroom. “

She made it clear however, that The Post, which lost $19.5 million in the first quarter, sees bringing together Washington figures as a future revenue source. “We do believe that there is a viable way to expand our expertise into live conferences and events that simply enhances what we do - cover Washington for Washingtonians and those interested in Washington,” she said. “ And we will begin to do live events in ways that enhance our reputation and in no way call into question our integrity.”

Executive editor Marcus Brauchli was as adamant as Weymouth in denouncing the plan promoted in the flier. “You cannot buy access to a Washington Post journalist,” Brauchli told POLITICO. Brauchli was named on the flier as one of the salon’s "Hosts and Discussion Leaders."

Brauchli said in an interview that he understood the business side of the Post planned on holding dinners on policy and was scheduled to attend the July 21 dinner at Weymouth’s Washington home, but he said he had not seen the material promoting it until today. “The flier, and the description of these things, was not at all consistent with the preliminary conversations the newsroom had,” Brauchli said, adding that it was “absolutely impossible” the newsroom would participate in the kind of event described in the solicitation for the event.

"Underwriting Opportunity: An evening with the right people can alter the debate," says the one-page flier. "Underwrite and participate in this intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth. ... Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table. Interact with key Obama administration and congressional leaders."


The flier promised the dinner would be held in an intimate setting with no unseemly conflict between participants. “Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No,” it said. “The relaxed setting in the home of Katharine Weymouth assures it. What is guaranteed is a collegial evening, with Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds typically on the guest list of 20 or less. …

Brauchli emphasized that the newsroom had given specific parameters to the paper’s business staff that he said were apparently not followed. He said that for newsroom staffers to participate, they would have to be able to ask questions and that he would “reserve the right to allow any information or ideas that emerge from an event to shape or inform our coverage.” That directly contradicts the solicitation to potential sponsors, which billed the dinner as “off-the-record.”

“Our mission in the news department is to serve an audience,” Brauchli said, “not serve our sponsors.”

“We do not use the Post’s name or our journalists to gain access to officials or sources for the benefit of non-news purposes,” he continued.

Brauchli said that Post employees on the business side — not the newsroom — would have been responsible for seeking participants for this event. Reporters, he said, would not solicit sources or administration officials. Brauchli said that he did not know who was invited or who accepted.

Ceci Connolly, a Post reporter who covers health care, told POLITICO that she had been told there would be a dinner and that she would be invited. However, Connolly said, she “knew nothing about sponsorships and had not seen any flier or invitation.”

Brauchli declined to comment on whether anyone on the business side would be held responsible for the abortive plan. He said that would be a decision for either Weymouth or Stephen Hills, The Post’s president and general manager.

But regarding future events, Brauchli said: “I would hope that everybody in the Washington Post Company is always sensitive to the importance of the newsroom’s integrity and independence.”
Charles Pelton, The Post business-side employee listed as the event contact, seemed to dispute Brauchli’s version of events.

Pelton was quoted by Post ombudsman Andy Alexander in an online commentary as saying that newsroom leaders, including Brauchli, had been involved in discussions about the salons and other events.“This was well-developed with the newsroom,” Pelton told Alexander. “What was not developed was the marketing message to potential sponsors.”

According to Alexander, who called the flier a “public relations disaster,” Pelton told him: “There’s no intention to influence or peddle.” “There’s no intention to have a Lincoln Bedroom situation,” referring to charges that President Bill Clinton used invitations to stay at the White House as a way of luring political backing.

Pelton did not return a phone call from POLITICO.

If POLITICO had not reported on the flier this morning, Brauchli said he expects someone would have seen it before the event and, given the obvious ethical issue, it would have been canceled.


Kris Coratti, communications director of Washington Post Media, a division of The Washington Post Company, said the flier “came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers.

"As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this. We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business, and that The Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. The newsroom will participate where appropriate."

Earlier this morning, Brauchli sent an e-mail entitled “Newsroom Independence” to his staff explaining his position.

"Colleagues,” Brauchli said. “A flier was distributed this week offering an 'underwriting opportunity' for a dinner on health care reform, in which the news department had been asked to participate. The language in the flier and the description of the event preclude our participation.

"We will not participate in events where promises are made that in exchange for money The Post will offer access to newsroom personnel or will refrain from confrontational questioning. Our independence from advertisers or sponsors is inviolable. There is a long tradition of news organizations hosting conferences and events, and we believe The Post, including the newsroom, can do these things in ways that are consistent with our values."

The first "Salon" was to be called "Health-Care Reform: Better or Worse for Americans? The reform and funding debate." More were anticipated, and the flier described the opportunities for participants:
“Offered at $25,000 per sponsor, per Salon. Maximum of two sponsors per Salon. Underwriters’ CEO or Executive Director participates in the discussion. Underwriters appreciatively acknowledged in printed invitations and at the dinner. Annual series sponsorship of 11 Salons offered at $250,000 … Hosts and Discussion Leaders ... Health-care reporting and editorial staff members of The Washington Post ... An exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done. ... A Washington Post Salon ... July 21, 2009 6:30 p.m. ...

"Washington Post Salons are extensions of The Washington Post brand of journalistic inquiry into the issues, a unique opportunity for stakeholders to hear and be heard," the flier says. "At the core is a critical topic of our day. Dinner and a volley of ideas unfold in an evening of intelligent, news-driven and off-the-record conversation. ... By bringing together those powerful few in business and policy-making who are forwarding, legislating and reporting on the issues, Washington Post Salons give life to the debate. Be at this nexus of business and policy with your underwriting of Washington Post Salons."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked Thursday in the briefing room if anyone from the White House was invited to attend the salons, and what the policy is for attending such events.

"I don't know if anybody here was," Gibbs said. "I think some people in the administration, writ large, may have been invited. I do not believe, based on what I've been able to check, anyone has accepted the invitations."

Gibbs said that the White House counsel would review such invitations and that they "would likely exceed" what would be considered appropriate.



http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24441.html#ixzz0K7O5XxHU&D